Cuba Libre - DC

4.4
3312 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Cuban
Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar features classic and contemporary Cuban cuisine by two-time James Beard award-winning Chef Guillermo Pernot. Pernot's menus feature tantalizing tastes that are derived from the exotic island"s culinary traditions, which include Spanish, African, Creole and Asian influences. The restaurant's atmosphere transports guests to Old Havana circa the 1950s. One-of-a-kind millwork and architectural salvage including unique doors, gates, cabinetry, furniture and accessories help capture the essence of old Cuban architecture. Colorful exotic foliage and large potted palm trees add to Cuba Libre's open-air, tropical ambiance. Featuring a selection of over 70 rums, Cuba Libre's uniquely refreshing house specialty, the mojito, is made from the authentic Cuban recipe of combining rum, fresh lime juice, fresh mint leaves, a splash of soda and most distinctively, guarapo, sugar cane juice pressed daily on site.
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What 3312 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.2
service
4.5
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
87% of people would recommend it to a friend
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t
1 review
Dined on May 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

I love coming here ! I had fun with my date . We stayed in the back private room . He loved it!

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ER
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on May 16, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Amber was a friendly and very fun waitress . Great place to meet, eat and entertain. We came into town for a short vacation stop and had a hankering for Cuban fare. Best choice in DC I am sure.

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OT
Indiana
2 reviews
Dined on May 13, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 3ambience 4

Good food. Good drinks. Maybe a little pricey for quality but had a good experience.

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RO
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 2ambience 4

Yes for the food. No for the service. My server did not check up on food once it was dropped at the table, water refills, dessert options, etc.

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SS
Portland
8 reviews
Dined on May 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great service. Great atmosphere. Great food. Interesting cocktails.

A little disappointed to arrive on time for reservation and still wait 20+ minutes after reservation to be seated and the tables were so crowded it was nearly impossible to weave your way to the table without asking seated guests to move. It was a minor blip that was quickly rectified by great food and service. The host was very pleasant and managed a large waiting list very effectively despite the waits.

The pineapple guacamole was a fantastic starter. The sweet plantains are a perfect dessert even though they are served as a side.

Great place. Looking forward to going back.

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P
Washington DC
16 reviews
Dined on April 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Husband and I came here for a Belated Birthday/Anniversary dinner. We arrived way on a Saturday, around 5pm, so the place was still call before the dinner cried came. There are very positive vibes at this Cuban/Latin style restaurant. Decor looks like Havana, with large ceiling fans, lovely details on the walls and high ceilings. Very attentive servers. Loved the cocktail and bar selection, especially the caparinhas and mojitos. Food is excellent and of a good variety, from ceviche to beans and rice, and empanadas. And what amazing, truly Latin desserts! Dulce de leche ice cream and rice pudding are to die for. The only thing I would suggest is giving a few more grilled/non-fried food options for the appetizers, because that can get heavy, but the dishes are creative and delicious overall. I'd love to return later in the evening for their salsa dancing! I would highly recommend Ciba Libre.

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s
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on April 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food! Excellent service!

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SH
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on April 20, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Service was a bit slow, but the food was good. Complaint: When I eat at a Cuban restaurant, I want slow-cooked pork. Cuba Libre only offers the slow-cooked pork as a dinner-for-two option (>$60). That was disappointing. Mojitos were great.

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OT
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on April 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The restaurant takes you to a Cuban place with a setting of street lights and balconies with flowers as decor. The brunch on the weekends is a great way to save money and have a great time! The empanadas were too good and the blood orange drink was really tangy and sweet. Would definitely go back there for brunch with friends.

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LG
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on April 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was a special night out for the four of us and wanted to go to a special place - Cube. Libre crates that special unique environment

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MM
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on April 18, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 1

Restaurant smelled like bleach. Service was almost non-existent. Not a good place for a business lunch when you want to get in and out. Food was OK. Price was good.

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CF
1 review
Dined on April 17, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

Poor service. The sitting hostess was obnoxious. The food was less than average. In fact. the worse cuban food I ever had. Do not recommend.

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JW
Chicago
8 reviews
Dined on April 13, 2019
Overall 1food 3service 1ambience 2

The service here is just terrible. It was so disappointing because the decor and food was really great. From the time we ordered it took an hour and fifteen minutes for us to receive our food. The entire time we were waiting the waiter never refreshed our drinks. It took asking for a manager to find our waiter for our food to come out. The food was great but after waiting it kind of killed the mood.

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AC
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on April 12, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Yes, the food at Cuba Libre was very good and the service was excellent. The location is a little loud, but luckily we were in the back room which worked for a discussion. I thought my drink could have been a bit stronger (I had a mojito) but it was tasty. Overall, a good experience.

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OT
Kansas City
1 review
Dined on April 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We found this restaurant to be top notch, the best I’ve experienced north of Miami.

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M
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on April 7, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 5

Very fun atmosphere and great menu range, thought the brunch menu leans either sweat or pork with.

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LF
Washington DC
10 reviews
Dined on April 7, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 4

I recently visited the Philadelphia restaurant and was very pleased.
The food was exceptional and the service equally as good. So we invited 4 friends that had never been to Cuba Libre to the D.C. location and were very dissatisfied. We arrived upon opening and the 1st to be seated. Our server was at times no where to be found? The food came out in increments and there were several of his with food and others not. The soup came lukewarm and had to be sent back. The steak salad had wilted lettuce and was sent back for the Cuban sandwich, good choice.
The pastries were delicious.
The mojitos were too sugary and lacked taste?
The aqua frescas were too sweet as well! Not going back.

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OT
New Orleans
1 review
Dined on April 6, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 4

Food is pretty good and different. Pineapple guacamole is highly recommended!

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TC
Washington DC
69 reviews
Dined on April 6, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

The meal began with toasted bread and mango butter that was irresistible. If we hadn't been on diets we both would have ordered more. We had a lovely ceviche which was ample for two to share. It was lobster, shrimp and squid, but a bit heavy on the squid and light on the shrimp. Fresh, bright flavor. From the paella menu my companion had a shrimp platter that wasn't actually a paella but much better. The shrimp were large and flavorful and the rice was on the side. I had a Cuban skirt steak that a was properly rare and quite large, but it did have some tough sinew running through it, enough to make it hard to cut. However the seasoning of the meat and the mashed potato it rested on were delightful. I also enjoyed the watercress accompaniment. The desserts were tempting, but we stuck to Weight Watchers.

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DA
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on April 5, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 2

Cuba Libre was packing people in on a Friday evening! We were a party of seven. While our tabletop was fine for all of us, we were wedged in between two other large parties, so many of us had to sit close to the table or sideways to avoid bumping the people behind us. The noise level was pretty intense -- I couldn't really hear the people across the table from me.

On the other hand, the food was well-flavored and the portions were generous, but not crazy. The waitstaff were friendly and came back often to refill waters and drinks. The kids went nuts for the mango butter.

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ZB
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on April 4, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

Several dishes were not up to par, including the flan. The kitchen messed up empanadas. Secondary servers tried to deliver other people’s dishes to our table. But my friends and I still had a good night out thanks to the stellar primary server and most of the food.

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PQ
Orlando
1 review
Dined on March 31, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 5ambience 5

Buen servicio comida sin sabor

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L
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on March 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious. Waitstaff was great. The portion sizes were perfect, but overpriced.

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BF
New York Area
9 reviews
Dined on March 26, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 2ambience 3

An anticipated second visit to this restaurant led to a very disappointing dinner. Our server was spacey, and it took about 20 minutes to get our drink order. Ditto apps. Ditto dinner. Despite explaining a tomato allergy a main course arrived garnished with tomatoes, not listed on the menu. And this was explained to the spacey server. Apologies. Another 30 or so minutes and the now tomato-free dish arrived. Not sure we will go back for a third time.

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OT
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on March 25, 2019
Overall 1food 5service 1ambience 3

Server was Horrible

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OT
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on March 24, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 4ambience 3

I frequent the Philadelphia franchise of this restaurant. The food at the DC restaurant was horrible! It was extremely bland and served cold. I won’t be returning.

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GN
1 review
Dined on March 23, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

My food came out cold (cold steak) and the rest of my party also wasn’t happy with their entre however the manager apologized and made sure everything was corrected and even offered to cover our dessert. The dessert was the best part of the meal! We did however enjoy salsa dancing and thought the music was on point! Would go back for the dancing!

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OT
1 review
Dined on March 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I met up with friends I had not seen for a while and decided to explore Cuba Libre. It started with the nice setting, the cuan neighborhood vibe inside makes this place unique. Our server, Amber, was beyond professional and sweet. From giving us helpful recommendations (specifics to why she would make the recommendations) to being attentive. She definitely made our great experience even more wonderful.

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TH
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on March 17, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 4

I could have missed ordered, but I felt the food was uneventful. The drinks on the other hand we're absolutely fantastic.

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MW
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Get the Lechon Asado! It's was amazing! It's a spicy pork dish. The classic Cubano sandwich was delicious.
If you like sweet and refreshing drinks, go for the mango mojito. I am now convinced that everything should taste like mint and mango.
The ambiance inside makes you feel like you are eating outside and the streets of Havana. You step into a totally different world.
Our waitress, Alida was extremely friendly and so passionate about the food and drinks offered. She made us feel like she was genuinely happy to have us there. And knowing that she must talk about the same item several times a night, it was so refreshing to see someone give their job all there attention.

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OT
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on March 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent ! Go !

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AG
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on March 15, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 5

If you're looking for a lively crowd, this is the place to be. Unfortunately the bartenders weren't as attentive as in other establishments but the atmosphere made up for it. A little expensive, but great happy hour.

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WA
Baltimore
1 review
Dined on March 13, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

The food was more Spanish than Cuban. I had Arroz con Pollo which had strong hints of saffron, it was delicious, however, not like I would have expected from Cuban Cuisine. Usually one would taste wine or beer in the arroz con pollo. My daughter had a Paella, it was delicious, but also not Cuban but more Andalusian. I would recommend this place and will return. The ambiance and is great.

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S
London
23 reviews
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was our first visit to a Cuban restaurant and won’t be the last. The food was really good and the decor was exceptional.

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CD
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on March 3, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 5ambience 5

This is written on a Sunday Brunch experience. The menu was limited to the brunch offerings and it was not very varied. From the latin pastries basket, a coconut topping served with the butters was really good, the pastries were not remarkable. For the entree I ordered arroz con pollo, the presentation was great but the taste left a lot to be desired, it actually tasted like a sodium filled frozen meal, the rice was wet and the chicken had a chewy texture with an overpowering flavor of bouillon cubes. My husband ordered the brunch paella, the presentation was good but he didn’t enjoy the taste either. We both came home with our plates, which we both discarded. The staff was wonderful, the guayaberas are super cute and the waitress was friendly and prompt. I would visit after dinner and enjoy the drinks and ambiance but not for a meal.

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 2food 4service 1ambience 1

In order to get the brunch drink special everyone at the table had to order the same food option. Once we all reluctantly agreed, we ordered. After ordering drinks, they arrived after 30 minutes. Several of the food dishes even arrived before drinks. Additionally the mimosas were not good, almost tasted watered down and the Bloody Mary substitute was terrible. Anything with tomato, strawberry, balsamic, ginger, etc. does not go together. Just stick to the classics that people like. Bottom line, I would never go back for brunch which is too bad, because lunch and dinner food options are great.

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CW
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on February 28, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 2ambience 1

Food was ok. Went there for lunch on a Thursday. Good came out 20 minutes after ordering and it was just ok. Won’t be going back.

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LB
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on February 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

March 2019 -- As usual, Cuba Libre did not disappoint! The food and the service were excellent. This is a great place for a business lunch. You feel like you're in Havana ... in the middle of Washington DC!

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LB
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on February 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

March 2019 -- Cuba Libre is a great location for a business lunch. We told our server that we had a time constraint, and we enjoyed our lunch and made it to our appointment on time. Thanks!

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MT
Washington DC
19 reviews
Dined on February 24, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 4

Food was so-so. Not necessarily a good brunch

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